Twitter flagged and hid a tweet posted by President Donald Trump’s early Friday morning after the president signed an Executive Order challenging the growing political bias in tech companies, whose platforms are meant to be neutral.
Trump’s tweet was in response to the growing unrest and rioting in Minnesota, in response to the horrific death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Thursday night the situation in Minneapolis escalated again when rioters overran a police precinct, forcing police officers, who were told not to respond by city officials, to evacuate before it was burned to the ground.
Trump signed the Executive Order Thursday aimed at social media giants he says, have been operating as biased publishers rather than platforms for free speech. Trump tweeted that these “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
The National Guard was sent to assist local authorities in containing the rioting. Earlier the president criticized the city’s mayor, who ordered the evacuation of the precinct saying, “the very weak radical left mayor Jacob Frey” if he didn’t bring the city under control.
In response, Twitter flagged the President’s tweet and attached a notice saying “we have placed a public interest notice on this Tweet from @realDonaldTrump.” The tweet is actually hidden from public view but can be viewed if the reader so chooses to click on it.
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence,” said Twitter. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 29, 2020
Twitter’s reasoning to place a ‘public interest notice’ on Trump appears to be in retaliation. His tweet did not incite violence or glorify it what-so-ever. Some twitter users suggested Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey is in all out war on the platform against the Trump administration.
And Trump’s tweets aren’t the only ones targeted, numerous congressional officials, and conservative pundits have long complained, including this reporter, that Twitter conducts shadow-bans of content and targets conservative voices on the platform.
The order allows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to re-access Section 230, which grants liability protections to media platforms. The order will also allow for a process to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission if tech companies’ content-moderation policies are not neutral, or if they have crossed the line into behaving as publishers of content.
Twitter has just hidden one of Trump's tweets tonight about the Minnesota riots.
So far as I can tell, no tweet encouraging police officers to be killed has been given similar treatment. pic.twitter.com/tgyi5SeabC
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 29, 2020